Tinos… the handmade island

Tinos is located in the Central Aegean Sea, belonging to Cyclades island complex. The third largest island after Naxos and Andros with a land area of approximately 197 square kilometers. A mountainous island of 9.000 inhabitants, located either in the capital named ”Tinos or Hora”, or in the 41 villages (from a total number of 65) of the island.

Access to the island is available from the ports of Rafina or Piraeus (Athens), also from Mykonos, an island that can be reached by plane. Tinos is also connected by boat with the nearby islands, Andros, Syros, Delos, Paros, Naxos and Santorini.

Those who explore and discover Tinos call her ”The Lovely Bride of the Cyclades”. Besides the island’s natural beauty after a first look on the inland and seashores, you will spot the dominating and exceptional Aegean architecture, forming that way with marble, granite and slate every village, building, church, bell tower on the island. One of the symbols of Tinian architecture are the Pigeon towers. These buildings function as pigeon nests with enriched external slate decoration. Circle symbolizes the sky, square symbolizes the earth  and the triangle the birth. On the island we can see approximately 1.200 Pigeon towers, most of them date back to the Venetian occupation period of the island.

Another alias of our island is  ”The Island of Artists”. Great intellectuals, poets, painters and sculptors were born here. Lytras, Gyzis, Halepas, Sohos, Fytali brothers, Filippotis, Vitalis only being a few of them. Tinian marble is worldwide known. With Tinian marble craftsmanship being Inscribed in 2015 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Tinian sculptors originating mainly from Pyrgos, Ysternia & Kardiani villages, made Tinos well-known to Greece as well as globally. In 1830, Tinos became the premier center of marble & sculpting art in Greece. The local marble lies everywhere. On church temples, residences details, skylights, fountains, everyday utensils, decorative items, etc. Green marble was used in Buckingham Palace, Louvre and for the restoration of Athens upon declaration as capital. Thirty museums and permanent exhibitions are operational. Archeological museum, folk museums, historical museum, rural museum, gallery, marble museum, agricultural tools exhibition, traditional ceramics exhibition and more. Some of them in the Town of Tinos, most of them in the villages.

Nowadays Tinos is a religious center due to the Holy Icon of the Annunciation. Annunciation’s Temple constitutes, after The Holy Land, the most important Orthodox pilgrimage, with a large number of pilgrims (Christians and non) from Greece and abroad, especially on the day of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, on the 15th August. Furthermore, a significant Catholic Center because of the existence of the Catholic Archbishopric of Naxos-Andros-Tinos-Mykonos and Cathedral of the whole Aegean. Orthodox and Catholics coexist in harmony. The mixed religion population adds a specific folklore characteristic to the island. By visiting the numerous Orthodox & Catholic churches on every corner of the island and experiencing countless local traditional feasts, we can realize the dimensions of the importance that religion has for all residents.

Accommodation in hotels, studios, villas and rooms for every budget is available, tasty delights in restaurants, small taverns and fish-taverns all over the island, swimming in beaches of incredible beauty, water sports, hiking through many trails of several kilometers, climbing the lunar landscape of Volakas, fishing, scuba diving, daily tours either inland or to the nearby islands, nightlife, shopping in the local Market, are only some of our island’s enjoyable pleasures.

Great events take place, mainly during Summer (temporary exhibitions, concerts, lectures, conferences). An opportunity for every visitor to discover Tinos notable history, culture, religious tradition, traditional architecture, picturesque villages, wonderful landscape, gorgeous seashores and the traditional products and local cuisine of Tinos.